Scaredy Cat by Mark Billingham

‘Scaredy Cat’ is the 2nd novel in Mark Billingham’s DI Thorne series. I didn’t find it as riveting as the first book – ‘Sleepyhead’, but it introduced the vital character of Stuart Nicklin who we get to meet again in future novels.

A woman is carefully selected at a train station, followed home and strangled in front of her young son. At the same time another woman is strangled – in a very different manner and obviously by a different person. There seems to be no connection between the two murders except in DI Tom Thorne’s head. He sends his team trawling through old records until other pairs of murders are found.

There are not one, but two serial killers on a murdering spree in London.

One of the killers is found fairly quickly but the other proves to be much more elusive. From the nature of the killings now being carried out, it is obvious that the killer has access to information only those close to the investigation should know. He could possibly even be a policeman.

Thorne follows hunches, bends the rules and takes matters into his own hands (as usual), thereby upsetting his superiors and the members of his team.


Thorne continues his friendship with both DC Dave Holland and pathologist Phil Hendricks. We get to see a lot more of Holland in this book and we hear lots about his rocky relationship. Hendricks continues to get a new facial piercing for each new boyfriend.

One of the newer members of Thorne’s team DS Sarah McEvoy causes plenty of difficulties for Holland and for herself.

The book was a bit complex and difficult to follow at times, but was still enjoyable. I’ll file away the details about Nicklin from this book for when we get to meet him again. I’m looking forward to reading book 3 in the series – ‘Lazybones’.


Book Published 2002


See a full list of books by Mark Billingham

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Filed under Billingham, Mark, Book Reviews, Crime, Detective, Series Fiction, Thriller

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